A Trip To The Emergency Room


“We sure are in a booger aren’t we?”

The man in the wheelchair struck up a conversation with my family in the emergency room.

We smiled at him and replied, “yes.”

My daughter continued to press the ice pack against her eye. She had split open her eyelid during basketball dribbling practice at school.

The man turned to his wife and said with a slight twang, “Well, I just sure am glad we ran across that bobcat.”

This peaked my interest.

They were quiet for awhile.

But then the man turned to us to explain his injuries.

“Me and my wife were campin’. We was trying to get some pictures of some critters. We crossed a ravine. We saw a bobcat and some birds!

“Then I slipped. Like this.”

He motioned with his hands a slope.

“And I just fell down.

I was just layin’ there.

It hurt so bad.”

Then he chuckled through his pain.

He said with a smile, “You know, I’m a hill billy. I am from East Tennessee. I should not be stupid enough to fall down a mountain!”

He shook his head sheepishly.

We were called back to claim our bed in triage. I wrote this story from the E. R. waiting room. My daughter kicked me out of her room when she was about to receive her stitches. She just wanted my husband to stay.

Can you imagine I am not good in a crisis?

She said I would stress her out.

I fought back my tears.

I made my walk of shame down the long emergency room hallway, past the fallen mountain man.

I made my way to my chair. I thought about crying. But I’m a mom from Southern California. I should not be stupid enough to think that this heart break will be my last.

12 thoughts on “A Trip To The Emergency Room

  1. Oh my gosh! My heart broke with you! That was my first reaction. My second reaction went like this – a mom loves you like no one else in the world and sometimes that is too much – times when you just positively can’t burst into tears you simply can’t have that love around. And then my next reaction was – what an awesome family. Your daughter knew to speak up for herself, your husband is obviously a great dad and you and were able to stoically and heroically walk out of the room. Love your writing, Jenni! Three equally strong reactions from a few sentences. Amazing. Please tell me you are writing a book. Seriously.

    • Thank you Cynthia! The doctor actually suggested I should wait outside. I bruised his ego when I asked if I needed a plastic surgeon consult for stitches on her eye (I had googled face stitches for kids and what to do. This was suggested).

      He said, “How old do I look?”

      I did not know what to say so I stayed quiet.

      He said, “Maybe I look young, but I’ve been doing this for fifteen years. I can do stitches.”

      I figured he would do his best job after that cocky statement.

      But I was very stressed out about scarring. And my daughter jumped on the doctor’s suggestion. My daughter has always been independent. She is great! And my husband is so sweet. I would have chosen him to stay, too.

      I have so many ideas for a book in my head, but I have some legal questions I need answers for before I begin.

      You made me feel better. Thank you! Her eye is looking great. The doctor did in fact do a fantastic job. The scar will not be noticeable at all, if it even scars at all.

      Thank you again for your sweet words!


      • You know, he sounds kind of like a jerk. Talk about not having a bedside manner and making it about him and not you and your daughter. Geesh. He could have got his point across in a completely different manner.

      • I wouldn’t “say” that. ; ). But, um, yes. He did, however live up to his claim and did a good job. But I do not think I would go back there if I ever had a choice.

        I hope your week is happy!


  2. Oh babe, it will be fine! It will all be fine! We all show our love for each other in different ways, your daughter was showing you her love when she asked you to leave, since she probably knew how much you would suffer with her. Be strong, Jenni! I am sending you so much love and positive vibes via the astral plane that it might just short-circuit every light bulb in California. 😉

    • Thanks Gwen. You are so sweet. It actually happened a week and a half ago. So she is much better now. She probably will not even scar! So that is great! I did understand why she did it. I would have been so stressed in the room. And I probably would have made things worse. We had a great day together a few days later. I was fine the rest of the day. I do not dwell on the bad stuff. We went outside and stared at the baby bat later and then got some food. My heart mends pretty quickly. Plus I knew she wasn’t trying to hurt me.

      Thank you for your kind wishes! You are a wonderful woman!


  3. I am only a new mom but in becoming one I reflect often on and feel such empathy and sadness for the heartbreaks I caused my mom and dad in my process of growing up. I have read that this heartbreak is inevitable and am trying to envision how I would/if I could brace myself and steel my face the way you did. They say we raise them to become independent. To thrive. To ask us to leave the room when they need to be strong. We raise them to ultimately be left. And her becoming strong without you is of course at once because of you. Hang in there, mama! I hope she is doing ok and I hope you are too.

    • Awww. Thank you! Being a mom is so hard isn’t it? My daughter has always been independent. But we are really close. I have to respect her decision this instance. She is 14, but will be leaving for college at 17 because I started her early. So I need to let her be her. Plus, it was honestly the right decision. I would have been a nightmare in the room. Crying. Possibly distracting the doctor. As it was, she said she didn’t even feel the needle. Her eye is almost heeled and her regular doctor said she probably will not even scar. I am just so grateful for all of that. A lot of emergency room visits aren’t so lucky. I just do not want to be back there any time soon!

      Your letter was so sweet and kind. You are going to be a wonderful mom! Truly. Just that you are trying to figure it out from both sides all ready. That says it all.

      Have a beautiful weekend!


  4. I agree whole hardheartedly with EVERYTHING Cynthia said. Since I am a bit older than you and our boys are raised, I will let you in on a little secret (one you already know in your heart). Your children will always turn to you for certain things and to your husband for certain things and that’s great. Means you are a perfect team. When our boys need advice ~~ full on, no nonsense, give it to me straight advice, it is Joel they turn to even though they know he will be blunt, not pull any punches, challenge them to rise to each life experience. They have learned to appreciate that. When they need the matters of the heart and the touchy feely person, it’s me they call on. When my daughter in law had seizures on the 4th of July and had to be rushed to the emergency room to deliver my beautiful (early but healthy) granddaughter, I flew from Spokane to Omaha. Our son picked me up from the airport and drove all the way to Lincoln where they live an hour away and never once let go of my hand. It was heart breaking and rewarding all at once. Can you imagine how much would be missing if Joel and I both had the same strengths?
    Back to you ~~ I so hope your daughter is okay. Did she get a shiner that she can proudly wear for the next several days?

    • Hi Brynne,

      First, how is your daughter-in-law now? That sounds so scary. I am so glad the baby is okay. And I am so glad you were there for your son.

      You are so right. We all have different qualities we bring to the table. It is always so nice to have someone to lean on who has so many wonderful qualities you lack. That is how I feel. My husband is pretty much always calm. He is very laid back. And I run around like a loon. He loves me because I am fun and kooky. And I love him because he is so stable and peaceful.

      Of course, if I was in an emergency room I would choose him all of the way. I would choose me to go to a party.

      Thank you for your insight and kind words. She is doing fantastic and we get along really well. I am so grateful for that.

      Thank you again. Please update me on your daughter-in-law’s condition. I thought about it all night and I really want to know that she is okay.

      Have a lovely weekend!


      • Oh good! Thank you for the update! I bet she is so adorable. Little girls are just the most fun to dress up, until they won’t let you any more. ; )

        Enjoy your weekend! : )


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